An improvement of economic sentiment in the country, particularly after May 2017, is already reflected in much of the economic data, such as in industrial production, exports and retail sales, while a very good performance for tourism has contributed to raising employment and total demand in the economy, the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) said in its monthly bulletin on economic developments issued on Monday.
SEV analysts, however, stressed that a chronic competitiveness shortfall of the Greek economy, as presented in World Economic Forum’s latest report, continues to deteriorate because of ongoing over-taxation and companies’ inability to access funds, hindering a faster return to strong growth rates.
SEV said the third quarter GDP figures would offer a clearer picture of economic trends this year. It noted that a recovery so far was based on increased demand from abroad and stressed that unless private investments were boosted, economic growth will remain subdued in the coming years.
The Federation noted that over-taxation was the most significant hurdle for business activity, a develoment likely confirmed by a fatigue in revenues from direct taxes in a draft budget plan for 2018 and a jump in new tax arrears to the state during the summer months (up 3.1 billion euros in July and August).